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~ How It's Made ~

Musical Christmas

I was asked to design a program cover for a student piano recital. The recital was held in December, so I started out with brainstorming some wintry beings.  

Draft 1.png
Draft 2.png

Solidifying the idea is often the most difficult part of the creative process. At this point I had no idea what the end product was going to look like. But I had to keep trying, exploring, sketching and re-sketching, until something clicked. 

draft 3.png
Draft 4.png
Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 11.03.53

I started with the outline in Photoshop.


I start almost every piece of artwork with simple shapes.


In this case, it was circles and a big triangle.

I liked the bottom snowman being squashed, but my son felt sorry for him. I didn’t want to be cruel. so...

I finally decided to put in a tree since the concert is close to Christmas time. I would use musical elements to decorate the tree.

Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 11.10.58

...nobody got squashed.

Why do snowmen need apparel?


Because white is too plain. The hats and scarves allow me to play with colors. 

Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 11.13.39

For the snowmen’s outfits, I used bright colors to represent the festive mood of the season, but also I wanted to make sure there was a balanced amount of warm and cool colors. 

Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 11.15.16

Adding in some shading to add dimension.

Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 11.17.57

Final touches: Blue shadows on the snowmen and of course, pink cheeks!


The yellow music staff lines on the tree was an afterthought. The lines was an ideal representation of gold tinsel, and they go perfectly with the theme.


Getting the text on the cover was the easiest part of this project. But that doesn't mean it took no effort at all.


Deciding on the font took thought, especially when the list of choices was so long.


I didn't want something plain and boring like Times New Roman.


I wanted it to be somewhat elegant since it was a concert, after all.  


Yet I didn't want it to be too fancy otherwise it would look jarring next to cartoony characters. 

Repurposing the image for other products. 

xmas coasters.png
xmas Floor Pillow.png

All images © Lisa Ngan.

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